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News & Events


  • Chemtoberfest 2015
    In Celebration of National Chemistry Week, the SUNY Potsdam hosted the 5th annual Chemtoberfest! celebration on October 16th, 2015. This year, our newly founded Chemistry Club teamed up with John Proetta (event chair) and the Chemistry Department to show the campus community how "Chemistry Colors our World." This free family chemistry festival attracts over 400 local students attended this year?s event including Massena, Madrid/Waddington, Parishville-Hopkinton, Brasher Falls, Norwood/ Norfolk Middle School and Morristown, and enlists the help of numerous local businesses. View Photos
  • NERM Conference
    Eleven chemistry students and faculty Fadi Bou-Abdallah, Maria Hepel, and Martin Walker from the Department of Chemistry attended and presented at the 40th Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society Conference held at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York June 10-13, 2015.

    Names of students contributing to research poster presentations at this meeting are the following:Ty Santiago, Kathleen Morrissey, Taylor Hughes, Mackenzie Palmer, Abigail Widrick, Britannia Smith, Thomas Giffune, Sam Sprague, Mihael Gerkman, Kaylyn Jeror, Hanna Jones, Christopher Crecco, Jascha Teibel, and Alaa Farghli.

    To view pictures from the conference, see the NERM Photo Gallery.

  • Local Section Outreach Volunteers of the Year
    In an effort to recognize the immeasurable outreach efforts made by local section volunteers, the Committee of Community Activities (CCA) has established the Local Section Outreach Volunteers of the Year recognition program. Each local section has an opportunity to recognize one individual annually for demonstrating extraordinary outreach volunteer service within the section. Volunteers are only eligible to be recognized once every five years.

    In recognition of their exemplary outreach efforts, ACS provides each participating local section with a certificate and recognition gift to present to the awardee during a local section meeting or other local section event. The awardees will also be recognized by the Chair of CCA, George L. Heard, in an issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) later this year.

    In 2015, ACS recognizes 55 awardees.

    John Proetta PictureJohn C. Proetta - Northern New York Local Section
    John?s passion for Chemistry and Chemical Education is contagious. He has been a long-time volunteer at the SUNY Potsdam Chemistry department?s outreach events and has magical charms in recruiting, managing and exciting a large number of young students. Besides his normal duties as a chemistry instructional support staff and stockroom manager, John is the founder and event chair of Chemtoberfest, a fall-themed science festival and one of the largest academic events on campus bringing over 1000 participants yearly. His leadership, dedication and consistent rapport with the Potsdam community are outstanding. He is much deserving of this award.

  • Maria Hepel Image Maria Hepel was selected the Favorite Professor of the Department of Chemistry by the voting student body in November 2014.
  • On November 15th 2014, we celebrated the 30th Annual High School Science Lab Day with 122 participating students from nine local high schools. Twenty faculty and staff and twenty-four SUNY students participated as instructors or lab assistants. Students had opportunities to use cutting edge Raman spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy, learn about solar hydrogen car, observe enzyme function using an indicator, quantitatively determine the sugar concentration of soft drinks, and run an advanced biochemistry SDS. The Chemistry Department gave a proper closing in hosting an entertaining Chemistry Magic Show. Learn More (PDF)
  • The Chemistry Department celebrated Mole Day in the Barrington Student Union from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on October 23rd. Using a number of visual representations and demonstrations, the Chemistry Club recruited SUNY Potsdam Students to join the Mole Day activities. Students showed an electrolysis demonstration exhibiting the 2:1 mole ratio of hydrogen and oxygen gas evolution based on water splitting using solar energy. Collected hydrogen was used as a fuel to power a car. Using a fuel-cell powered car, the students were able to see this technology in action. From here the participants were introduced into new material science and graphene's role in current research, specifically how graphene is made and what methods are used for its characterization. Learn More (PDF)
  • On September 26th, 2014, the SUNY Potsdam Chemistry Department celebrated it's 4th annual Chemtoberfest, from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Barrington Student Union Quad. The main organizer of the event was John Proetta. The event, which is a fall-themed hands-on science fair, attracted over 1000 participants to the SUNY Potsdam Campus. The celebration was coordinated in tandem with the theme of National Chemistry Week 2014, "The Sweet Side of Chemistry." Our students allowed the guests to step into a "Chem Candyland," where they demonstrated the fascinating science behind some Confectionery Chemistry. SUNY students worked with PACES to craft the candies that were served at the event. With the help of the Culinary Club and PACES Executive Chef, Amy Conger, the students were able to learn about culinary science and teach it to the public in a meaningful way. In tandem with these sweet attractions, students were able to investigate biosensors by having their blood glucose tested by Student Health Services. In addition to the chemical demonstrations presented in the Chemistry Magic Show, our students constructed an interactive Fluorescence Rave Cave and designed a fragrant Organic Chemistry ester experiment exploring the science of scent. For more information (including photos), view Chemtoberfest 2014 (PDF).
  • John Proetta from the Department of Chemistry and Melissa Cummings from The Department of Secondary Education organized SUNY Potsdam Youth Summer Science Camp. The camp was held on SUNY Potsdam campus and started on June 29 and ended on July 3, 2014... read more.
  • Maria Hepel, Conference in CAMaria Hepel served as an organizer of the symposium "Graphene-Based Nanomaterials for Bioanalysis, Nanomedicine and Electronic Applications", held at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, on August 13, 2014, in San Francisco, CA. Maria will also serve as an editor of the book based on the talks presented at this symposium.

    In addition, she presented two papers at this meeting. One presentation "Exfoliated Graphene Nanosheets WO3-Modified Supercapacitors with High Power Density" was coauthored with undergraduate student Chris Li. The second presentation "Novel Biosensors for Determination of Phenolic Compounds Using Catalyst-Loaded Reduced Graphene Oxide Substrate", was coauthored with undergraduate student Kathleen Morrissey and Ondrey Kubesa, a graduate student from Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

  • SUNY Potsdam's Department of Chemistry organized the second annual Chemtoberfest on October 19, 2012, to celebrate the National Week of Chemistry. For more information (including photos), view Chemtoberfest 2012 (PDF).
  • Maria Hepel, Chemistry, was the recipient of the 2012 Northeast Region American Chemical Society Award (PDF) for Achievements in the Chemical Sciences. The award is conferred annually on a scientist who has made meritorious research contributions leading to the advancement of pure or applied chemistry. This award was presented to her at the NERM meeting of the American Chemical Society on October 1, 2012 in Rochester, NY.
  • The SUNY Potsdam Chemistry department brought home the 1st Place Trophy for this year's Chemistry Jeopardy Competition! The game was held in celebration of 2011 being the International Year of Chemistry.

    Click here to view a photo of our Chemistry Jeopardy Winners!

  • On October 21, 2011, SUNY Potsdam held its First Annual Chemtoberfest! This event was held during National Chemistry Week in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011).

    The goals of the International Year of Chemistry 2011 were to:

    • increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs
    • to encourage interest in chemistry among young people
    • to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry

      To see pictures from Chemtoberfest 2011, view our Photo Gallery.

      For more information, see Chemotoberfest (PDF).

  • SUNY Potsdam Instructional Support Associate Wins National Award -
    Janice Westerling is Named 2010 Scientific Materials Manager of the Year.
  • Back in June 2-5, 2010, we held the 37th Northeast Regional Meeting (NERM) for the American Chemical Society ?Chemistry for a Sustainable World? with 40 different symposia representing cutting-edge research topics from green chemistry to bio/nanotechnology and attended by over 500 chemists from all over the northeastern US and Canada.
  • For more information, see Reflections on NERM (PDF).

    To view pictures from the conference, see the NERM Photo Gallery.

  • Biochemistry Student Elected into Biochemistry Honor Society.

    Huidong Yang, a senior biochemistry major from Suzhou, China, was elected into the newly inaugurated Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Honor Society (???) of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) that recognizes exceptional undergraduate juniors and seniors pursuing a degree in the molecular life sciences at a College or University that is a member of theUndergraduate Affiliate Network (UAN) of the ASBMB.

    Huidong has worked in the labs of both Dr. Gingrich (zinc transport proteins) and Dr. Bou-Abdallah (ferritin research) and was able to travel to Anaheim, CA to both present some of his research data as well as receive his award. He will be attending graduate school, studying neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this fall. More information and a short biography of Huidong is included in the May issue of ASBMB Today where he is profiled with three of the other twelve awardees. It can be accessed at:

  • Maria Hepel, Chemistry Department, was named a Top Cited Author for 2010/2011 by the Biophysical Chemistry international journal (Elsevier) for her paper entitled "Ligand Exchange Effects in Gold Nanoparticle Assembly Induced by Oxidative Stress Biomarker: Homocysteine and Cysteine". The paper was ranked top 5 in the citations in just released citation statistics.This paper was coauthored with Jeffrey Deeb, SUNY Potsdam chemistry graduate student, class of 2010, and Magdalena Stobiecka, a postdoctoral researcher from Poland. Learn More (PDF)